Effect of intranasal glucagon on blood glucose levels in healthy subjects and hypoglycaemic patients with insulin-dependent diabetes

Lancet. 1988 Jun 18;1(8599):1364-6. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(88)92181-2.


Glucagon in solution with a surfactant (deoxycholic acid 1% w/v) was administered by intranasal spray to 6 healthy fasting subjects and 6 insulin-dependent diabetics with insulin-induced hypoglycaemia. In the normal subjects, intranasal glucagon increased plasma glucose levels, with a dose-response effect. In the diabetic patients, plasma glucose levels showed a mean increase of 100% above nadir values in approximately 26 min in response to 7.5 mg intranasal glucagon; hypoglycaemic symptoms were relieved within about 7 min. These results suggest that intranasal glucagon is effective and may represent an alternative to parenteral glucagon or glucose or to oral sugar as the first-line treatment of hypoglycaemic episodes in insulin-dependent diabetics.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Glucagon / administration & dosage*
  • Glucagon / blood
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / drug therapy*
  • Hypoglycemia / etiology
  • Insulin / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Radioimmunoassay


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Glucagon